The Death of Recruitment Providers?

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I got into a debate recently with a business owner about the value offered by a recruitment service provider.

To cut a long story short it was Sunday morning and I was checking my facebook groups when I spotted a social media post in a group where someone had asked for some assistance relating to a recruitment matter.

This chap, lets call him Aiden, replied saying that he does all his recruitment himself as he wouldn’t have time to explain to someone else about what makes a great employee for his business.

He went on to showcase the procedure he had devised himself to advertise and attract candidates, basically it was a landing page, with a video and a “contact us” form. The landing page would have traffic driven to it from paid search (facebook ads) and content led posts (tweets, FB updates, FB page updates, all with links to the page).

In itself quite a neat idea, one that we have used ourselves many times for our own recruiting as well as for our clients.

Aiden went on to explain that he got LOADS of applicants, and that he screened all the CV’s personally, proud of the fact that he would be able to spot things on the CV’s that a recruiter would “most likely have missed as they don’t know my business”

Now don’t get me wrong here, I’m not challenging that he knows and cares more about his own business than anyone else ever could.

Neither am I challenging the process that he put in place. It was neat.

What I did challenge, and will continue to, is that he felt only he could do it, and that he was prepared to use much of his own valuable time to implement this himself and get involved in the lower value tasks when he could have been using his time on things that would have delivered much greater strategic value for his business… the high value tasks.

During the course of our online discussion Aiden mentioned that in his experience recruiters were only interested in getting a quick fee to boost their monthly commission plan, and they were more likely to be great sales people than great recruiters.

In his own words he knows more about talent acquisition than any recruiter he has ever met which is why he does it all himself.

I left the conversation at this point. I actually like the guy, I know him pretty well, but this STINKING THINKING got my goat.

It was Sunday morning after all and I had kids to feed and outdoor walks to plan.

I’m writing about it today though for a couple of reasons.

  1. You can’t do everything yourself AND build a hugely successful business. The two things are mutually exclusive. You need to build a team around you of people highly skilled and better than you at most things. This team may include people on your payroll as well as suppliers of services to your business. Either way you need PARTNERSHIPS with these people. You need to inspire them and place your trust in them giving them the AUTONOMY to get on with the job. You need to monitor and measure their performance and progress towards the goal you have set, and support them with ideas and actions when they are behind the curve. Rewarding them when they are ahead of the curve.
  1. The Recruitment Industry is changing. Contingency “Pay On Placement” still has its place, although it can be a flawed model without proper commitment from both parties. Last year around 50% of the revenue in my own business came from contingency, but only where we had full commitment from our clients.

Recruitment as a service is moving towards PARTNERSHIP. The successful recruitment businesses are adopting all the modern techniques for finding staff for their clients whilst maintaining strong traditional values of their own. Integrity, Trust, Commitment and Partnership being central to the working relationship and success.

Above all though, a recruitment provider needs to get under the skin of the client they are engaging with so that they can virtually embed themselves in the clients CULTURE. You can only do this when you understand the VALUES of the business and it’s PURPOSE.

This takes time. It requires detailed consultation. Taking the time to do this in advance will reward you with massive long term dividends when you select the right partner.

Only then can you match talented individuals who have an intrinsic desire to do a great job for their prospective employer.

Finally, the old argument that a recruiter only works for a fast buck is largely irrelevant in the changing face of the industry.

Out with the one size fits all, pay on placement contingency model… just because it’s easy to agree terms, and in with BESPOKE services tailored to the precise requirements of a client.

This may include Landing Pages, Social Media campaigns, Job Board advertising, Head Hunting, Industry Mapping, Networking, Employer Brand building…. And much more.

Leaving you as a business owner to focus on your high value tasks safe in the knowledge that you have a specialist (whether directly on your payroll or via a partner supplier) to conduct this other critical function on your behalf. Following from my comment above you will want to review their progress regularly.

A recruiters service should always be bespoke. Always with the clients brand, culture and purpose at the front. And always working together in PARTNERSHIP with one another.

That’s how we do things in my business. It’s helping us play our own part in changing the way the industry is viewed, and it’s getting some staggering results for some of our clients.

I wish I’d stuck around online to explain all this to Aiden. I might send him a link to this blog.